Banksy has returned to the London Underground with a piece encouraging people to wear a face mask.
A video posted on his Instagram page shows a man, believed to be the enigmatic artist, disguised as a professional cleaner.
He can been seen ordering passengers away as he gets to work, stencilling rats around the inside of a carriage.
Transport for London (TfL) said the art was removed “some days ago” in line with its “strict anti-graffiti policy”.
The work, called If You Don’t Mask, You Don’t Get, features a number of rats in pandemic-inspired poses and wearing face masks.
One rodent stencilled on the Circle Line train appears to be sneezing, while another is shown spraying anti-bacterial gel.
The artist’s name is also daubed across the driver’s door of a train.
. . If you don’t mask – you don’t get.
A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on
End of Instagram post by banksy
At the end of the video, the words “I get lockdown” appear on the side of a station wall before a train’s doors close to reveal the phrase “but I get up again”, and Chumbawamba’s 1997 song Tubthumping kicks in.
All users of public transport in London must wear a face mask.
- Face masks on public transport – one month on
The statement from TfL said it appreciated “the sentiment of encouraging people to wear face coverings”.
“We’d like to offer Banksy the chance to do a new version of his message for our customers in a suitable location,” it added.
The BBC has asked if the travel authority worked with Banksy on this artwork and, if not, whether his actions posed a security risk.
Early on in his career Banksy, who is originally from Bristol, often spray-painted rats and monkeys on to Tube trains.
- London Underground
- Coronavirus lockdown measures
- Street art
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